1. what did you find (articulate the answers in your own words)

1.1. interesting about the article?

The idea of underdesigning and doing meta-design for the end-user seems very useful to me. One good example of underdesigning is the software program for music called Reason by the Swedish company Propellerheads. It does a lot of automatic setup for the end-user, but it only does what is perfectly logical. Anything that could involve more creativity is left to the end user, who can mess around with virtual patch cables that connect all the programs' virtual instruments. An example of even more extreme underdevelopment is the excellent program Reaktor by Native Instruments. It allows users to make synthesizers from scratch if they desire. As for meta-design, I think, even though it may interfere with the managment's decisions, it can be very useful. Luckily I get to take part in reaping the benefits of it because I am mostly interested in collaborative art. I use programs like Pure Data and Max/MSP because they offer a degree of control I cannot usually find elsewhere. I use open source, too, though I am having trouble making the leap to developer.

1.2. not interesting about the article?

I thought it was short and to the point, so I have no complaints. The diagrams were very good.

2. what do you consider the main message of the article?

That given the motivation and the opportunity end-users can become more active in shaping the tools they use.

3. is meta-design an

3.1. interesting concept? why?

Yes, I find it interesting. It allows for more mutations in the creation of software. More people have input, more ideas get implemented. Probably more ideas, die out as well. So it goes. It is for the better. If I want to have a program that lets me make music in a conventional manner, but also has the added benefit of letting me broadcast my music using AM waves my computer monitor generates I am not going to find a convential solution from a convential software company. Instead, thanks to meta-design and open source I can find a GPL'd project here and modify it to my liking.

3.2. not interesting? why?

It is interesting, I think.

4. what do you consider the major technical and social challenges associated with meta-design?

4.1. technical

The major technical challenge is access to relevent technical information that is good in quality. A great example is Linux, which is an excellent idea, but also a major time sink primarily because the documentation is so poor. To get my wireless internet card to work with Linux I already need a way to access the internet. This catch-22 could be avoided if the Linux distribution I use would only provide me with proper and up to date documentation offline.

4.2. social

Socially, the problem is with organizational structure and making development worthwhile. People who do work with convential companies and do support meta-design will generate more conflict with their superiors. People who don't will need to find meta-design rewarding. One example of a social challenge is illustrated by this story:

When I worked for a financial company, and programmed in their proprietary markup language, I was not given permission to write an authoring tool for our clients who needed pages designed. There would have been too much time invested in making the tool and not enough benefit to outweigh the costs.

5. describe your own experience with meta-design

5.1. with ideas associated with meta-design

Artistically I design music loops for others to use or edit as they see fit. I am close to being able to program my own audio plug-ins, and I could do so and even sell them if I was really motivated. Open source development is still a little to technical for me.

5.2. with systems built on meta-design?

I find it is good to have access to systems that leave various degrees of "freedom" for the user. Sometimes it is good to be able to build everything from scratch. Sometimes it is just a pain. Personally, when I find that a particular tool does not help me produce work that is original enough for my standards I then try to work on a lower level. An example would be programming in Visual Basic, not being satisfied with the amount of control afforded, and then resorting to C++ or assembly languange.